How do you manage your emails? If you’re like most people in the workforce, emails are a vital piece of your day to day operation. While I think that emails can be a distraction you should learn to avoid, I do understand how important it can be to the success of your startup. With that said, I also think it’s super important that you manage them properly.
If you’re like me, you can get anywhere from 50+ emails per day. Some need to be address right away, some later, or some a can wait a few days for a response. I’m always blown away when I see someone’s phone or inbox and hey have hundreds of unread messages. I still don’t understand how they know which emails were read, which ones were responded to and which ones still need to be addressed. It’s my opinion that inboxes like this are not managed, causing inefficiency in the end users life.
Flag your messages.
Every mail provider gives us a simple tool to manage our emails better – the flag. If you use Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo or any other service, you have the ability to flag your messages. When you flag an email you’re simply marking it as something that you need to follow up with to get back to later. For example – if you receive an email asking you to send a proposal to a new prospect at the end of the week, you can flag the message as a reminder to get back to it later. At the end of the day if you have 5 flagged messages, you know that there are 5 thing you need to get back to. Make it a habit to flag messages so you don’t forget to address them and check your flags daily.
Additional flagging techniques.
Aside from simply tagging your messages, some mail clients like Outlook will let you set reminders for your flag. You can flag something with a reminder to follow up today, tomorrow, next week or next month, making sure you don’t forget to address that important email. If you’d like to go one step further, you can even categorize your flags by color! I’ve recently switch from Gmail to an Exchange server just so I can do that within Outlook 2013. Now, when I look at my flags, they’re categorizes by group and color: clients, important, read later, personal items, etc. – to name a few.
Watch the video below to learn more about what you can do with flags. Its time to make yourself more efficient!